Dayton Redesign

Very nice redesign from the Dayton Daily News. The basic layout reminds me of a site that was redesigned earlier this year.

Key features:

  • Horizontal, tabbed navigation
  • Local news emphasis
  • Good sized main photo (could be bigger, but that’s hard to do on a content-heavy site)
  • The modular structure will make it easier to make changes as managers learn about how people actually use the site
  • Good ad sizes (great size for multimedia, which Dayton seems to do a good job of selling)
  • Reasonably good emphasis on blogs and multimedia
  • Good positioning on text ads

Some tweaks I’d make:

  • Advertising belongs on the left side of the page (where people’s eyes flow more naturally’)
  • The advertising column should be consistently advertising, not advertising and content (imho)
  • I don’t see any place for user-generated content
  • Interior nav element duplicates horizontal nav for classifieds and verticals
  • Interior pages need breadcrumb navigation
  • Story pages could use more “related” links so they properly serve as secondary entry pages
  • Latest headlines need time stamps (I didn’t see time stamps on story pages, either)
  • The site needs integrated search, but at least you can find obits or weather through the search box (search should also be bigger)

Overall, it’s a winning design, I think. There are some especially nice subtle touches that give the design some extra pizazz. The light blue is an increasingly popular color scheme for online news sites. I think it works, but I’m a big fan of it. I would like to see a little more spot color.

I congratulate Dayton the wide range of staff-written blogs, but where are the community blogs?

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